Penn State

Blaise Z. Peterson - Associate Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Penn State College of Medicine, The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Book Title: Sharing the Solitude

Author: Patrick G. Quinn

Book Description:

Patrick Quinn was a friend and colleague. I shared a strange journey with Patrick that began with my accompanying him to have biopsies taken of some anomalies that appeared on a chest x-ray. We could not have anticipated that the day’s finale would consist of radiation therapy. Cancer forced Patrick to re-organize his life around a series of short-term goals—his next round of chemotherapy, his next visit to the oncologist, a visit to the surgeon, more radiation therapy, his new regimen of chemotherapy, a visit to a different surgeon and so on. I found it profoundly tragic that Patrick went through this entire process never knowing how he stood against his opponent, the anomalies. This was true at least until the surgeon, after invading his body, declared Patrick "inoperable". Six Months. Now he knew. Following this pseudo-surgery, Patrick’s aspirations became simple: he wanted to see his daughter graduate high school, his son finish his first year of college and his poems published. His passing in May, 2006 preceded all of these events. Sharing the Solitude was in press when Patrick passed away. My wife worked with Patrick and his daughter, whose artwork appears on the cover, to do the layout and work with the printing vendors. To me, Sharing the Solitude is a window into the heart, soul and mind of Patrick the father, friend, colleague, scientist and artist. The poems in this collection have helped me understand Patrick as he lived before cancer and to appreciate how he experienced the strange journey we shared after he was diagnosed.


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